The Branch - April 21, 2019

May 26, 2019

Alleluia! He is Risen!

As I write this, I’m surrounded by the next generation of the Klindt family.  They have brought it to my attention that one of them is about to celebrate a birthday...  So, happy birthday, Dakota! 

HAPPY EASTER!  After weeks of sacrifice, prayer, and reflection, we have arrived at the tomb to find the stone rolled back.  We venture into the tomb and discover two men in dazzling garments.  This is the very cornerstone of our faith; the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

The Easter Season is the time of greatest joy in the church.  Christ has ransomed us from death and shown us the way to life eternal in paradise, forever declaring victory over the grave.  I would like to reveal to you some wisdom that was shared with me last week.  (I hope I get the wording right!)  A man, strong in his faith, was sick and soon after passed away.  Before he died, he expressed his view of his situation as a win-win:  If he got better, he would go home to the loving arms of his family.  If he were to pass on, he would find himself in the loving arms of our Lord.

What an amazing example of the certainty of our faith!  It’s an inspiration to us all to live in the absolute conviction that there is something waiting for all of us.  If that doesn’t put a smile on your face and bring joy to your heart, then I don’t know what will. 

The joy of Easter, for me personally, is a little bittersweet this year.  The fire at Notre Dame Cathedral is Paris is still smoldering and I remember the Easter that I was fortunate enough to stand inside that cathedral as part of a class trip in school.  I remember it every year simply because it was Easter in Paris in Notre Dame!  (It also helped that I attended Notre Dame High School.) 

Yet amid the tragic destruction, I find a lesson for us all:  The church is not the building.  It is not the altar, the pews, the works of art, the music… It is us, you and I.  We are the church.  We are the branches and Jesus is the vine.  As terrible as it is to see the damage done by the fire, we rejoice knowing that the faithful are tempered by the same fire and emerge strengthened by it.

I find myself wondering how many people will be visiting our parish to celebrate Easter with us… and how many of those same people will stay for a week or two, but then not return until Christmas.  I offered these words at Christmas and it still seems appropriate to offer them now:  Welcome home!  We are glad that you are here because you are part of the church and your strength us with your presence. 

When we give glory to the risen Lord together, we share in the joy and the wonder of the women and the Apostles when they discovered the empty tomb.  And one day we too will look into the eyes of Jesus and embrace him as he welcomes us home into paradise.

Happy Easter (and see you next week!),

Jason

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